Do we need a he-leader AND a she-leader?

In today’s complex world a singular go-it-alone leader won’t suffice. He or she cannot possibly understand or focus on each and all the critical issues. Setting priorities doesn’t help when everything in the web of inter-related factors is equally important.

The President Can’t Do It

Consider the Obama administration. Before assuming office the country entered an intense economic crisis. The president’s and the country’s agenda included health care, education, finance and immigration reform; terrorism; conflicts in the middle east; climate change legislation; and ending nuclear proliferation. Enter the economic crisis in Greece and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This agenda does not begin to account for building the organizations and developing the relationships required to deal with these issues and run day to day operations under a new administration.

Corporate Executives Can’t Do It

Corporate executives also hold extreme jobs in a 24/7 global world where communications never shut down. Why do we run these complex structures with a single leader who can’t possibly attend to all the agendas and dynamics? Is it the age old unreasonable reason – “that’s the way we’ve always done it?”

Families Don’t Do It and Neither Does Intel

Consider that the family unit, a much simpler structure, is run by a duo. The semi-conductor giant Intel uses a “two-in-the-box” structure in cases where one person does not have all the required knowledge or competence to lead the organization.

Command and Control Won’t Do It

Add one more problem. The command and control style is without doubt the wrong paradigm for this era. Enter the feminine – collaboration, emotional savvy, intuitive thinking, community building, relational focus. While women don’t have a monopoly on these competencies, according to my research they bring them to the forefront and as a result men begin to incorporate these qualities as well.

The Kind and the Queen Can Do It

So, why not have a King and a Queen, a she-leader and a he-leader who integrate the feminine and the masculine to lead the organization? As an added side benefit we might also bring the gender agenda to an end. We could stop having THAT conversation after a few years of comparing how he does it to how she does it.

What do you think? Should we go for two?

Addendum – Facebook did it. Read about the He-Leader She-Leader duo who are saving the company.

For more uncommon practices to crack the glass ceiling and shift a failing leadership paradigm click here.

P.S. On this same date, as if in an act of serene-dip-ity, Nick Kristof, New York Times Pulitzer Prize winner, posted an Op Ed suggesting a King and Queen of America. I believe Mr. Kristof was holding tongue in cheek. My tongue is not in my cheek, nor am I holding it – much to the surprise of those who know me.

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